While out and about doing some last-minute Christmas shopping on Marylebone High Street, we decided to divert a little bit and check out The Golden Hind for some fish and chips. While a seemingly simple task (in fact, we’re lucky enough to have a decent place for fish and chips back in New Hampshire), to do it right is actually somewhat difficult in London. Despite Fish and Chips being one of the national dishes of England, there aren’t a lot of places in London itself that serve it (“Chippys” seem to have been replaced with an almost uncountable number of bad fried chicken joints), and fewer that do it well (most serve some sort of half-assed product geared towards tourists). Finding a good one that is generally well-regarded is a bit of a challenge, and the list is short. One that we had an opportunity to try, due to our location, was The Golden Hind.
I had previously heard that this place was crazy busy, but we found it busy but workable. Despite it being a very busy day on Marylebone High Street, we only had to wait a few minutes during the lunch rush for a table (and by the time we were done with lunch, several tables were available). But checking the Google street view of the place, I figured out why: they recently expanded, taking over the Cafe Creperie that used to be next door. Looking at just the footprint of the original store? Yeah, it was probably almost intractable at times.
That said, it’s a very charming little shop, having that vibe that you expect from a good chip shop. The decor is stuck in a former era (there’s a nice art-deco deep fryer that is the centerpiece of the main room, although it has been decommissioned) .
After looking at the extensive fish options on the menu, I dend up opting for the Haddock and Chips. Specifically, I ordered the “Small Haddock and Chips”. Glad I didn’t opt for the large, since as you can see that portion size was definitely generous.
Overall, the haddock was perfectly cooked, with a nice crisp breading, and done correctly so that it wasn’t very greasy but was also moist inside. Indeed, quite a good, tasty piece of fish which I really enjoyed. The sauce was also quite good, albeit a bit more on the creamy end instead of the tangy end. Carol opted for the cod, which was also nicely crisp but moist. We also got some pickles, and some mushy peas, the latter of which I actually enjoyed a lot. I’m not generally a fan of mushy peas, but here they’ve added something subtle to the peas to give them just a little more flavor, and it turned out that it made them a particularly good accompaniment for the fish.
How were the chips? Meh. It’s been my experience that, outside of a very few places, it’s generally impossible to get both good fish and good chips. Doing one well usually means the other suffers (primarily because proper chips are fried twice in two different oil temperatures, and fish in yet another, so to do everything right can take three fryers and a lot of time). In the case of The Golden Hind, the chips were definitely suffering a bit, but they weren’t bad, either. Just not the sort of chips we’d go out of our way for.
Overall, The Golden Hind was a rather pleasant stop, and a good way to indulge in one of our guilty, deep-fried, indulgences.